Axel-In-Charge: Waid & Samnee on "Black Widow" and the Dawn of the All-New, All-Different Era
Last Wednesday saw the release of Battle of the Atom #1, the first part of a 10-part crossover through the various X-Men titles. The first issue is written by Brian Michael Bendis, current scribe of two of the four X-titles it’ll run through, with art by Frank Cho, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia, and a cover by Art Adams to give it that “big X-Men event” feel.
So how promising was the first issue? Here are a few reviews from around the web:
While American Vampire is currently on hiatus, creators Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque have killed time until its return by releasing various specials. Earlier this summer we saw The Long Road to Hell, and this past Wednesday brought the American Vampire Anthology, featuring vampire tales by Becky Cloonan, Francesco Francavilla, Gail Simone, Greg Rucka, Jason Aaron, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Jeff Lemire, John Paul Leon, Declan Shalvey and many more.
Anthologies can be hit or miss from story to story, but how did this one do? Here are a few reviews from around the web:
Hot on the heels of Age of Ultron, Marvel’s last event comic and the exclamation point to Brian Michael Bendis’ run on the Avengers books, comes the first issue of Infinity, which once again puts the Avengers at the forefront of a Marvel event. This time, the course is being set by current Avengers writer Jonathan Hickman, along with artists Jim Cheung, Mark Morales, John Livesay, David Meikis and Justin Ponsor.
So how did the first issue measure up? Here are a few thoughts from around the web:
Jeff Lemire’s next big project for Vertigo, following his run on Sweet Tooth, kicked off this week. Trillium #1 sees Lemire return to both writing and art duties after a few months of focusing just on the writing half of the equation with comics like Green Arrow and Animal Man. Reuniting with colorist Jose Villarrubia, who worked with him on Sweet Tooth, Lemire “combines rich historical adventure and mind-bending science fiction into a sprawling, unconventional love story.” Plus, it’s a flipbook!
What did people think of the first issue? Here are a few thoughts from around the web.
Springing forth from the last few pages of Age of Ultron is The Hunger, a miniseries that sees the 616 Marvel Universe Galactus taking a trip to the Ultimate Universe, looking for a snack. Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Leonard Kirk and Jesus Aburtov, the first issue of The Hunger arrived on Wednesday. So how was the first taste? Here are a few opinions from around the web:
I still remember Comics’ Greatest World, a shared universe superhero concept launched by Dark Horse back in the 1990s. I was particularly a fan of the comics that took place in Golden City — Catalyst: Agents of Change and Agents of Law among them — so I was interested when Dark Horse announced Catalyst Comix. Writer Joe Casey pitched the new book as a “decidedly unconventional” take on super-hero comics, according to Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson, and Casey’s working with artists Dan McDaid, Paul Maybury, Ulises Farinas and Brad Simpson to bring this “New Wave superhero anthology title” to life.
So how are the three stories that make up the first issue? Here are few thoughts from around the web:
Two of Gotham Central‘s finest, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, have reunited on Lazarus, a new series from Image Comics. Along with colorist Santi Arcas, the duo’s creator-owned series focuses on Forever, the “Lazarus,” or protector, of the Carlyle family.
“Lazarus is the story of Forever Carlyle, a genetically engineered young woman and the youngest daughter of the Carlyle family. Her family is one of about 30-odd ruling families left on Earth in a dystopian future where economic collapse has made the difference between the haves and the have-nots so stark, the world has almost returned to a feudal state. She is essentially a member of a royal family,” Rucka told Comic Book Resources. “ As a family’s Lazarus, she is responsible for the protection and defense of the family, hence her nature. That’s why she is the way she is. It’s a very dark, very unpleasant world if you have nothing. The best you can hope for is that maybe a family will find a use for in some way and that they’ll educate you, train you and elevate you to a service class. The other families are very jealous of what they have. They covet what they don’t have and go to great lengths to make sure that the status-quo is maintained.”
So how is the first issue? Here are a few thoughts on it from around the web:
After nine seasons on television and two movies, The X-Files have moved to the printed page, with IDW Publishing bringing us the next “season” of adventures for FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Written by Joe Harris with art by Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire, the new comic follows in the footsteps of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville, telling new stories “in canon” about characters we thought we might not see again after the show was cancelled or the films ended.
So how does the first issue stack up? Here area few thoughts from around the web:
The long-awaited first issue of Gerard Way, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan’s The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys finally made its way into comic shops this week, kicking off a miniseries that continues the story that was set up in My Chemical Romance’s 2010 album Danger Days. The project was first announced in 2009, and comes out well after the album it’s based off of and even after My Chemical Romance’s breakup.
The miniseries picks up some time after the events depicted in those cool My Chemical Romance music videos that featured Grant Morrison, with the story focusing on the young girl rescued by the Killjoys from Better Living Industries, or BL/Ind.”When you read this book you’re going to assume that this big clean corporation are the bad guys, and all these punky-looking freedom fighters are the good guys, and I think that the story really explores that as well — who in fact is good at all,” Way told CBR. “You basically have two extremes, and in the middle of these two extremes — one being about control and one being about total chaos — you have this girl. Both sides basically want this girl for their own reasons.”
So, was it worth the wait? Here are a few opinions from around the web:
Yesterday brought several first issues, new storylines and creative teams to the various comics that came out, so I figured instead of doing one Chain Reaction thsi week, I’d do several over the next few days. A chain of Chain Reactions, if you will. Or maybe more appropriately for this first post, Unchained Reactions. Because yes, we’re talking about Superman: Unchained #1.
Written by Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing) and drawn by co-publisher Jim Lee (heck, what hasn’t he drawn?), Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair and, in a back-up, Dustin Nguyen, this new comic arrives not coincidentally the same week that Man of Steel opens in theater and once again pivots into the minds of the mainstream.
So while Superman is popping up everywhere right now, how is the actual comic? Here are a few reactions from around the web:
Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Alex Ross and Alex Sinclair returned to Astro City this week, with a brand-new first issue published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. The creative team introduces us to several new characters, including the fourth wall-breaking Broken Man and the anime-inspired American Chibi. Old favorites are also still in residence, including Samaritan and Bill Pullam, one of the ordinary citizens we met earlier in Astro City’s history.
It’s a first issue that feels comfortably familiar but also refreshingly different, as we kick off what looks like a big event within the Astro City world. I definitely found it well worth my $3.99, but if you don’t believe me, here are a few more reviews that might convince you:
The new X-Men title by Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel, which debuted Wednesday, has received a lot of attention for its all-female team. Honestly, when I heard the news, I didn’t find it surprising — in fact, I had to ask myself, “Is this really the first time we’ve had an all-female cast in the X-Men?” As an old-school Chris Claremont X-fan, I guess I’m used to characters like Storm, Rogue and Kitty Pryde having as much prominence on the team as Cyclops, Colossus and … yeah, I was going to put Wolverine there, but he’s always been in a class by himself due to his popularity. But you get where I’m coming from.
There were certainly X-Men stories where the women outnumbered the men during Claremont’s run — I’m thinking of an issue where Wolverine, Shadowcat, Rogue and Rachel Grey, I believe, were on a mission, and Wolverine turned leadership over to Kitty because he didn’t like being leader and she had “seniority” — but I can’t think of a time when they were male-less for a significant period. If someone pops up in our comments section to tell me otherwise, though, I won’t be surprised, because the X-franchise just seems like the natural place where this would happen. It’s notable that just about every one of the main characters in the book were co-created by Claremont, the only exception being Storm, who was actually created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum. But Claremont obviously put his stamp on the character in his long run on Uncanny X-Men.
But yeah, a female X-team? It’s been a long time coming, if indeed it has never occurred. But enough about the make-up of the team; how was the book itself? Here are a few opinions on the first issue from around the internet, and you can check out the CBR poll to see that almost half of respondents gave it five out of five stars:
This week saw the release of The Bounce by Joe Casey, David Messina, Giovanna Niro and Rus Wooton into comic shops. The Image Comics series stars Jasper Jenkins, a pot-smoking slacker who’s also a superhero.
“The Bounce is a full-blown, 21st-century superhero in all the ways that just … feel … so … right,” Casey told Comic Book Resources. “Underneath the mask, Jasper Jenkins is a typical twenty-something who likes to hang out with his pals, get his smoke on big time, put on a costume and jump out to do the hero thing. And the world needs him — it’s a dark place out there. But a more pressing personal problem is that his brother just happens to be the assistant DA, recently charged with rounding up the community of costumed freaks that Jasper is now a part of. A classic comic book dilemma! So, along with trying to keep his secret from his brother, the Bounce has to deal with a colorful and twisted rogues gallery which includes creeps like the Crunch, the Fog, the Vamp and the Horror. Clearly, we’re trying to put the ‘fun’ back in funny books, with full-on, four-color superheroics exploding off the pages …!”
So how fun and explode-y is it? Here are a few thoughts on the first issue from around the web:
Two comics with “dream” in the title hit stands Wednesday, and although they’re two very different comics and don’t really have anything to do with each other, I naturally thought I’d combine them into one “Chain Reactions.”
On one side of the dreamscape is Dream Merchant, by Nathan Edmonson and Konstantin Novosadov, published by Image Comics. From the solicitation text: “Haunted by recurring dreams, a boy named Winslow is hunted by mysterious beings and protected by an old traveler. Soon Winslow will realize that what is in his dreams is what the rest of the world has been made to forget–and what strange entities will stop at nothing to erase from his mind.” It’s a double-sized issue priced to move at $3.50.
On the other side of slumberland is Dream Thief, by Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood, and published by Dark Horse. “After stealing an Aboriginal mask from a museum, John Lincoln realizes that the spirits of the vengeful dead are possessing his body and mind while he sleeps! His old problems have been replaced by bloody hands and the disposal of bodies-and now remembering where he spent last night has never been more important!”
So how do the two comics stack up? Here are a few reviews from around the web:
This week saw the debut of Chin Music, a monthly series written by Steve Niles and drawn by Tony Harris. Announced at last year’s Image Expo, Chin Music is about a man named Shaw who flees through time from his ancient enemies, landing in Prohibition-era Chicago to find himself surrounded by gangsters, law enforcement and the local supernatural underground.
So does Chin Music hit the right notes or does it fall flat? Here are a few thoughts on the first issue from around the web: